A New York Spring Calendar, 2013 Edition: Blooming Times and Seasonal Events

(updated) At this time of year, thoughts turn to spring. This past winter has seemed overly long, cold, and much too windy. So, let's spring forward to blooming times, the best locations for witnessing spring's beginnings, and springtime events in the big city. While the occasional snow will likely blow through the city, we're just weeks now from callery pears in bloom and opening day at the ballpark.

Duck in Azalea Pond. The Ramble.
March 10, 2013
The duck awaits the season. 

Some of this information below has been posted here in previous years, but we can be somewhat reassured that some things stay perennial. The pictures - all new replacements - are meant to illustrate approximate blooming times. Several new events have been added to the 2013 spring calendar. We can't forget National Walking Day (April 3, 2013), can we?

Blooming Times

• Central Park Conservancy's website lists blooming times within the park. During the month of March we begin to see crocus, daffodils, forsythia, snowdrops, witch-hazel, and hellebores. Species tulips will emerge in several places, but the Shakespeare Garden and Conservatory Garden are particularly good places to catch the beginning of Spring blooms.

April is usually the month when full blooms appear in New York City, and this NYC Parks website provides a handy monthly guide to the specific locations of blooming trees, flowers, shrubs, and buds.

LaGuardia Place, near Houston Street in Greenwich Village.
March 21, 2012.
Spring blossoms are running later in 2013.

Celebrating the great beautiful flowering crabapples, this page on the NYC Parks site explains why you can't buy and plant a crabapple today and expect it to look as beautiful as those in Central Park.

• By late March or the first week of April, the callery pears should be in bloom, providing a soft white canopy on many New York streets. These trees can withstand urban pollution, but storms can wreak havoc on them.

Callery pear trees in bloom in front of the Rubin Museum of Art.
March 23, 2012.
The blooming of the callery pears are running later this year.

High Line. Spring Cutback.
March 2012.

• Check out The Orchid Show, a special presentation of a dazzling collection of orchids brought to you by The New York Botanical Garden in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road Bronx. The special show continues through April 22, 2013. The Garden is open year-round, Tuesday-Sunday, 10am - 6pm and select Mondays. Check the website for exceptions.

• Walking Off the Big Apple's favorite spring walk is wandering in the Ramble in Central Park and meeting the duck.

• The High Line (left) features plantings around the seasons.

• Million TreesNYC. See how you can help this citywide, public-private program to plant and care for one million new trees across the City's five boroughs over the next decade.

In Clinton Community Garden.
March 9, 2013

• Visit the Prospect Park Alliance website for interactive guides to the park, seasonal events, and more. When visiting in person, locate the park's Audubon Center for a quick orientation.

• While many of the city's parks sponsor events for the season, Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan offers particularly good fitness opportunities in a spectacular setting. Consult the Fort Tryon Park Trust website for more information.

• While in Fort Tryon Park, visit The Cloisters. The Metropolitan Museum of Art's medieval branch is one of the best places to see varieties of plants in bloom. Check out the museum's blog, The Medieval Garden Enclosed.

• For those seeking to understand the ecology of the city's landscapes, explore the Wildlife Conservation Society's Welikia project, the city-wide expansion of their popular Mannahatta.

• According to the Victory Seeds website, the average last frost in New York City is April 13.

Spring Events for March and April 2013

Belvedere Castle, Central Park
April 5, 2012

• Saturday, March 16, 2013 St. Patrick's Day Parade. Fifth Avenue, from 44th to 79th Streets. Begins at 11 a.m. Consult this St. Patrick's Day post from 2012 that includes Walking Off the Big Apple's awesome bar and parade map, plus bonus Judy Garland song.

• Sunday, March 24, 2013. Palm Sunday, beginning of Holy Week.

Palm Sunday procession
congregation of Trinity Wall Street walking from St. Paul's Chapel to Trinity Church
April 1, 2012

• Sunday, March 24, 2013 Opening Day at Coney Island. Click for pictures from this season's opening day.

Coney Island attractions open March 24, 2013. 

• Sunday, March 24 - Sunday, April 7, 2013. Macy's Flower Show

• Sunday, March 31, 2013. Easter Parade. Fifth Avenue, beginning near St. Patrick's Cathedral. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 49th to 57th Streets. See pix from last's year parade.

What joy! Spring at Rockefeller Center.

• Monday, April 1, 2013. Home opener. Opening Day, Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees. 1:05 p.m. Yankee Stadium, Bronx. Official site.

• Monday, April 1, 2013 at 1:10 p.m. Home opener. Opening Day, San Diego Padres at New York Mets. Citi Field, Flushing, Queens. Official site.

• March 29-April 7, 2013. New York International Auto Show. Jacob Javits Center.

A preview and list of art exhibitions in NYC museums this spring, with openings in April, May, and June. (Link to post on this website.)

• April 3, 2013. National Walking Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association. Get out of the car. (more on this website)

• April 6, 2013. A Saturday. Pillow Fight Day. 3 p.m. Location TBA.

Pillow Fight Day.
From April 7, 2012 in Washington Square Park.
Spring silliness.

• Sunday, April 7, 2013. 1 pm. Greek Independence Day Parade. Fifth Avenue. 64th to 79th Streets.

• April 17 - April 28, 2013. Tribeca Film Festival. Some of the special events take place outdoors. Tickets on sale now.

• April 27 - 28, 2013. 10 am - 6 pm, Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival - Sakura Matsuri 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Rain or shine. Free with admission. Celebration of Japanese culture and the blossoming of the garden's cherry trees. The cherry blossom season in the park is from April 1 - April 29. Also, consult the garden's Cherry Blossom Status Map for opportunities to visit.

Calla Lilies on Mulberry Street, Little Italy.

Religious Holidays

• Passover begins at sunset on March 25, 2013 and continues for 7 days until April 2, 2013.

• Easter Sunday falls on March 31, 2013.

First Day of Spring

• Vernal Equinox in New York City, First Day of Spring. March 20, 2013. 7:02 a.m.

Spring in Washington Square Park
Picture from March 20, 2012.

The Weather 

• The National Weather Service can and does predict the weather, issuing long-range maps and outlooks for the months ahead. Their monthly and seasonal color maps for the upcoming months indicates that New York City will see above average temperatures, not just for spring but for most months ahead. Precipitation runs normal. 

Animal Life

• Several good blogs and websites keep track of the city's animal life. Among them -  Urban Hawks is especially observant of the adventures of our red-tailed hawks; Out walking the dog, the work of a playwright living in Morningside Heights, tracks wildlife on her daily walks in the neighborhood but also keeps an eye out for news and events; and The City Birder is a good source of information for birdwatching in the big city. Follow the continuing adventures of the hawks in Washington Square Park and other areas with Roger Paw. Read more about these hawks in a post on this website. The NYU's Hawk Cam in now up and running for 2013.

• New York City Birding: See the home page of NYC Audubon for events, trips, classes, and programs.

• Know your birds. Visit the New-York Historical Society's landmark exhibition, Audubon’s Aviary: Part I of the Complete Flock, through May 19, 2013. (www.nyhistory.org)

Bird photographers in Central Park.
March 10, 2013.
The spring migration has begun.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple. Clicking on the pictures above enlarges them. For a season-by-season guide to the city and suggested self-guided walks suitable for spring, please enjoy the NYC by Season page on this website.


Anton Deque said...

A superb photo gallery.

I am reminded in what you write of Edwrd Thomas' lovely poem on this cusp between Winter and Spring (it is snowing here but we have been spared much). Thomas was encouraged to write poems by his friend, Robert Frost, the American master. Thomas began writing seriously late in life and was killed on the Somme in 1917 aged forty before recognition of his talent was widespread.

Anton Deque said...


I forgot the link to the Thomas poem (I think). Well, I am old ...